Party seeks cancellation of Ekiti council polls over alleged exclusion
•‘Buhari not interested in state’s governorship contest’
Citing alleged exclusion from the exercise, the Young Democratic Party (YDP) has called for the cancellation of the local council elections held recently in Ekiti State.
Its National Secretary, Bolaji Oni, at a press conference yesterday in Akure, Ondo State, claimed that the party’s name and logo were deliberately excluded from the ballot paper. He said: “It was with great shock and embarrassment that we found out through thousands of our members and followers on the morning of the election day that our party name and logo was excluded from the ballot paper.”
The state electoral commission had on December 23, 2017 conducted the polls in the16 councils won outright by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Oni, who hails from Ido-Osi Local Council of the state, noted YDP had eight councillorship and one chairmanship candidates but t were disenfranchised, as they could not be voted for.
He went on: “YDP showed intent and obtained forms EKSCF 001, 002, 003 and 004 and submitted same to the commission for the just concluded local government elections in line with the guidelines and timetable published by the commission. “Our candidates were screened and no form of communication was made to us or our candidates notifying that we would be excluded and the reason(s) for the exclusion.
“It took a lot to calm our members and followers who felt they are being deprived of their rights and ready to exercise their grievances there and then if not for God and the party’s state executives’ quick intervention.”
However, former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Gbenga Aluko, has assured all the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in the state that President Muhammadu Buhari had no vested interest in who becomes the party’s candidate in the July 14, 2018 contest.Aluko, who boasted to have been a political ally of the President since 2003, said he knew the country’s number one citizen was too disciplined and cautious to rig the primary in favour of any contestant.
Addressing 1700 of the 2400 delegates from the 177 wards across the state in his Ode-Ekiti country home yesterday, the senator pledged that the party leadership would enthrone a level-playing field for the over 40 aspirants jostling for the ticket to stand for the election.
On the recent appointment of 24 Ekiti APC chieftains into federal boards, agencies and parastatals, Aluko said the gesture showed that the president still has tremendous respect for the state in particular and the south West region in general.
The gubernatorial hopeful said he was unperturbed by the rumoured ambitions of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Chief Segun Oni, saying he had traversed all the wards to sell his agenda and was the candidate to beat.
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